Recently I had the bright idea to switch this blog’s web host. It germinated when I could not install a plugin to my WordPress blog software because it required a newer edition of WordPress. Upgrading WordPress is not hard but does require paying more attention than I wanted to spend. Wondering if there might be an easier way to go I learned about Fantastico, a script installation manager offered by many webhosting companies–but not by Startlogic, my then-host. One-button installation of WordPress upgrades and other goodies? I can make a good cup of espresso with one button, so why not? After a day of surveying prices, packages, and customer feedback I signed up with BlueHost. Then the fun began.
That you are reading this shows that I was successful but I could have installed new WordPress software on my old host in 1/20th of the time I spent transferring the WordPress databases to the new host. My goals were simple: transfer the blog without losing any posts, comments, or other data, and simplify the site’s structure. I can figure out most of the computer- and network-related problems I encounter, but the process ain’t pretty. For instance, the blog had been installed in a directory yielding the ugly URL trudalane.net/afcblog/wordpress. The occasion of this transfer was an opportunity to change the installation to the cleaner trudalane.net.
This was a case of working for a week to save a half-hour upgrading WordPress . I wandered lost though the alleys and by-ways of MySQL, an unfathomable place where the natives speak a lingo I don’t comprehend. Like Paris, without the Seine, Eiffel Tower, and exquisite food. I’ve pondered over statements such You will get a MySQL query syntax error number 1064 when you incorrectly use a reserved word in your query such as “when” or “order”. Okay, so how do I fix the syntax? Easy! Read the appropriate MySQL manual. I can deal with the Internal Revenue Code (with some whining) but I could not crack the MySQL 5.0 Reference Manual.
User-maintained forums at WordPress Support made the difference. They told me which web-hosting companies were best (I still went with BlueHost), how to transfer to a new host and install WordPress in the root directory, how to transfer database files, and how to access my installation while changing domain-name registrars. The forums contain a typical amount of web chaff but useful nuggets did not require an inordinate amount of digging. Those nuggets kept my frustration within tolerable limits and allowed, with ample trial-and-error experimentation, successful data transfer. Now, if I can just get the RSS feeds to work . . .